Li suggests that not only L2, but also L1 is also susceptible to change over time, when it is not used frequently or in only restricted domains in our lives.
A very close friend of mine was born in Brazil and then moved to France at a very early age. He grew up speaking both French and Portuguese. French on the street and at school and Portuguese with his family at home. He moved back to Brazil when he was 10 and nowadays, at the age of 23, he can no longer speak French fluently. He ceased to speak French the moment he arrived in Brazil and had no opportunities to continue studying it. However, until today he uses some features of French grammar to write in Portuguese. He sometimes writes "eu não tenho ninguém para sair com", instead of "eu não tenho ninguém com quem sair", because in oral French prepositions can come at the end. It is interesting to notice how French got lost in his brain, but there are still some vestiges of it in his speech/writing pieces.
I have an aunt who was born in Brazil and moved to the USA when she got married. Before moving, she learnt Englsih as her second language. She's been there for 18 years and when she comes to Brazil to visit us, I see how difficult it is for her to remember many words in Portuguese. She cannot say a sentence without using "you know", "I see", "Oh, Gosh".
I have similar experiences from Ariadna, I know a woman, who got married and moved to the USA when she young, and every time she visits Brazil she has problems trying to remember one word or another. I do think that this is a common situation.
In my point of view languages must be constantly used, otherwise you might have problems with words. When I lived in the USA, I did not have much contact with Portuguese other than through phone calls with my mother, or few Brazilians I met over there. And although Portuguese is my Mother Tongue, I was not using it in a wide range of contexts, meaning I had trouble while trying to remember unusual words, and I got back to Brazil, I often realized I could not find the proper word in Portuguese. Why does that happen? Can that be understood as loss of language, even thought the period of time was so short?
I agree with the ideia that both L1 and L2 are permeable and can be changed with the time, depending on the frequence of its use. I also know a brazilian who moved to The USA and has troubles now speaking portuguese. I also know a friend of my uncle who moved to the USA and have children there. His children can understand portuguese bc sometimes their parents speak in that language with them, but they cannot read or write at all and have some trouble to undertand portuguese. When I was in the USA I din´t have the chance to speak portuguse neither, except with my family and friends sometimes with skype. And just in the few months that I stayed there I got so used with English that portuguese used to sound weird for me and even my thoughts were in english. This is processing is really intersting for me and confirms the language wax and wane process as well with the functions of languages as we studied before.
Post by Fabiana Sampaio on Sept 10, 2015 15:49:22 GMT
Just like Emmanuelle, I also lived in United States and when I came back to Brazil I had a hard time to find the proper word in Portuguese. That's because I didn't have contact with Portuguese language there. I've been back to Brazil for almost three years and sometimes I remember the word in English but I keep forgetting how to say it in Portuguese. As mentioned by Claudia this processing confirms the language wax and wane studied before.
Post by Joyce Campos on Sept 10, 2015 19:23:24 GMT
I would also like to mention a personal experience I just had.
I studied German for years and lived in Germany for six months in 2010. I have a proficiency exam and have been teaching the language since then. Last week, I met a man from Germany and invited him to watch my German classes and help me out with my students. When I picked him up to go to one of my classes, he started speaking naturally and even though I could understand everything, I found myself unable to express everything I wanted when we tried to discuss serious topics, such as politics. I forgot MANY words and expressions and I had not realized it so far. I teach, so I expected to still be fluent in the language. I teach only basic levels and don't have the chance to practice German in other domains of my life, so it seems I have forgotten the words and expressions needed to take part in some kinds of discussions.
That shows me that practicing the language in one situation only does not guarantee fluency neither maintains proficiency levels.
Post by Joyce Campos on Sept 10, 2015 20:10:30 GMT
The examples mentioned by Ariadina, Emmanuelle, Claudia and Fabiana confirm that "our first language is more permeable than traditionally though, and that such L2 to L1 influences not only exist in early, simultaneous, bilingual language acquisition, but also in late, successive language learning" (Li, 2013. P. 58).
I believe that, because there was loss of use of L1 (attrition) in the aforesaid contexts, there could have been a temporary shift of the dominant language, what could explain why they often forgot L1 words. Do you agree?
Hi, there! Yes, I agree that our first or native language is susceptible to changes. I spent some time in Dublin, the capital of Ireland, just using English at school where I studied and outside the school too. I just used Portuguese when I phoned my family. Then, once, I was talking to my mom on the phone, speaking Portuguese and then I forgot a word "penteadeira" in Rio Grande do Sul, where I come from, we would call that dresser (cômoda) in English and I simply couldn't come up with the word.... I sometimes have this, now that I am working more with advanced levels of English I think and even dream in English, so, sometimes I don't have the right word for something in Portuguese... The previous years I taught more to basic and intermediate levels, I didn't have these feelings...
Our native language is not stable, and I'm living proof to that, as I frequently catch myself using words/expressions from English when speaking Portuguese. Sometimes it takes me long to remember lexical items in Portuguese and getting the syntax of Portuguese mixed up with that of English is not a rare phenomenon in my daily life either. Interestingly, it's easier for me to remember words that are more formal in Portuguese than the ones more informal and widely used, which contributes a great deal to my feeling awkward when talking to my teenage students, for instance. Although the informal lexical items are those that I most frequenly hear, the formal ones were learned at an earlier phase of my life, which leads me to believe that the AoA plays a role in destabilizing the mother tongue.
The wax and wane of languages is so interesting! I myself feel it happening to my acquired languages. I've been an EFL learner since the age of 10, and a teacher since the age of 18 (I'm 22). I use English approximately 15 hours a day, and after I started using the language this much, my fluency has increased and so my vocabulary. However, I've started to feel like I'm kind of forgetting words from L1 and saying weird things such as "Abre o porta", "Chama a menino", in other words, I'm mostly having trouble with the articles. I've also noticed it takes longer for me to come up with certain utterances in Portuguese than before and, now, I also feel urged to use more English than Portuguese. This means that although Portuguese is my native language, it doesn't mean it's so stable that it can't be subjugated by my L2. Which proves the native language is also permeable and it changes according to how much it's used.
Post by anacarolinemeirelles on Sept 12, 2015 20:34:21 GMT
Hello, everybody! I totally agree that our first language is susceptible to change. I have an example similar to Ariadina’s. My friend’s mother is Brazilian and moved to U.S. about thirteen years ago. This person comes to Brazil once a year to visit family and stay here for a month. As the examples cited in this forum before, she forget some words in Portuguese and sometimes she can’t express what she is really thinking in Portuguese, only with English words. It happens sometimes with us, as foreign language teachers, as Thales said. We are in contact with the second language during all day and in some situations we use words in English, in my case, when we are speaking Portuguese.
I think this subject is really interesting!! We see on page 158 the authors presenting how L2 can also influence L1.
The concept that our first language is a fluid and permeable knowledge. As some of you have alread commented here. In some cases, L1 starts suffering more influence of L2. Sometimes because L2 becomes the dominant language.
I'd like to give again the example of a friend of my family who left Brazil some years ago. When he came back, after a certain time, it was shocking that not only L2 accent has influenced his portuguese, but he also developed some problems to remember some common brazilian expressions. It's more interesting because when he went he was around 30. So, it seems that no matter the age, language information are always changeable.
Post by Vanessa Oliveira Pereira on Sept 13, 2015 14:48:48 GMT
Hey everyone! Unfortunately, I don't have the opportunity to travel abroad yet, but I have a friend who lived in Canada for a long time, and she is an english teacher since she was sixteen, and now, she come back to Brazil and works as a coordinator in an english school in my city. She can't find a word in portuguese to talk, and she uses the word in english. Sometimes, when I teach all day long, I can't find words, or I speak in english instead portuguese, and make a mix of both language. So, L2 depends on our use and can ifluence our use in L1.
According to the research L1 and L2 can change over time, depends on how much we use them. I also know similar examples as you guys about people who moved abroad and when visit Brazil have a hard time trying to remember some words in Portuguese
I have some students that are learning English and Spanish at the same time and sometimes, especially in games that they are super involved with, they answer the question of the game in Spanish and not in English and I guess it happens vice versa as well
Interesting is that sometimes I am talking to someone in Portuguese and depending on the subject that I am talking about, I rather or just come to my mind some English expressions. These English expressions seem to fit better on such context, even if I am using Portuguese to communicate and the person that I am talking to doesn’t know English at all. Isn’t it interesting and weird?